Sunday, October 21, 2012

Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen (2012 re-review)

I’ve tried all the major German Oktoberfestbiers and none have really impressed me that much. Mostly I’ve been grading them on how bad they aren’t. But along comes Paulaner Oktoberfest, a beer that is genuinely good and by far the best of its brethren.

NOTE: Read my 2008 review here:

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (742) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 21, 2012
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into my OktoBEERfest mug.

Appearance: Beautiful dark copper/light brown hue. Plenty of visible carbonation. Forms a large, ivory-colored, foamy head which is slow to dissipate and leaves minor lacing on the glass.

Smell: Despite the dark olive-green colored bottle there was absolutely no skunkiness to the nose. I actually detect amber grain with hints of confectionery sweetness.

Taste: I knew Paulaner Oktoberfest was the best of the German Oktoberfestbiers upon the first swig. The first thing I noticed was there was no sour or off-flavors to the palate. It’s not just clean, but genuinely flavorful. Not quite as bitter as some of the others, but certainly more sweet without coming off as gimmicky or cloying. Mild up front with a rush of caramel and toffee flavors at the apex of the palate. Subtle dry bitterness as it begins its decent with additional sweetness just before it finishes cleanly.

While this isn’t the most delicious or most impressive beer of all time, it’s definitely the best German Oktoberfest you can buy in the United States. A clean, genuinely flavorful palate that true beer drinkers can appreciate, while remaining clean and mild enough for your average Joe Six Pack to enjoy.

Drinkability: Like any other dark lager, Paulaner Oktoberfest is fairly crisp but not overly spastic in the mouth. Slightly thin, it’s easy on the tongue and easy to drink in bigger gulps. The 5.8% ABV is average for the style, but this one definitely has the most flavor which makes it the most efficient Oktoberfestbier in my book.
 Grade: 7/10

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